With the addition of just a few letters or an image the simple T-shirt can become a personal billboard. What started as the standard issue undershirt of the U.S. military, by the mid-1970s had evolved into a means of self-expression and individualism. Musical taste, political slant, favorite TV show or movie, vacation destination and brand preference — it's all on a tee.
From DIY to the mass market, the printed T-shirt has been embraced by fashion designers and artists, street culture and brand-building corporations. Yet its basic form and function are unchanged. This quintessentially American item — best teamed with a pair of blue jeans — remains the simplest and most direct way of broadcasting our ideals and allegiances, sense of humor and cultural passions.
Selected from the collection of Patrick and Marc Guetta, owners of World of Vintage T-Shirts on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, this book assembles over 650 stone-cold classics of the genre. Drawn primarily from the golden era of the 1970s and 1980s, these vintage T-shirts are not merely nostalgic artifacts; they represent an historical record of political, popular and corporate thought in America. Vintage T-Shirts documents the most striking variations on this infinitely versatile garment. With an introduction on the history of the T-shirt in American popular culture by Alison A. Nieder, Vintage T-Shirts is an essential work of reference for anyone interested in pop culture, fashion, or graphic design.